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IHC allows India another chance to appoint lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav

According to high court order, the implementation on ICJ ruling could only possible through India's assistance
Published 09 Oct, 2021 05:30pm
The court will take up the case on December 9. File photo
The court will take up the case on December 9. File photo

The Islamabad High Court has provided another chance to the Indian government to appoint a lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian navy officer sentenced to death by a military court in 2017, to ensure a fair trial in the case.

The court will take up the case on December 9.

An IHC larger bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Amer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb took up a petition filed by the law ministry seeking a lawyer for Jadhav.

Law-enforcement agencies arrested Jadhav in Janauray 2016, while he was infiltrating into Pakistan from the Saravan border area of Balochistan with Iran. One year later, a military court awarded death sentence to the Indian navy officer following his confession to foment terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi.

India appealed in International Court of Justice against Jadhav's death sentence. The ICJ ordered Pakistan to review the death penalty handed down to the Indian officer convicted of spying.

In its July 2019 ruling the ICJ noted that Pakistan violated international law by denying India consular access to Jadhav. The rulings of the ICJ was binding but it had no power to enforce them, according to a BBC report.

According to the ruling, the ICJ rejected remedies sought by India, which included the annulment of the military court decision convicting Jadhav, restricting Pakistan from executing the sentence, securing Jadhav's release and ordering his return to India.

The IHC on Saturday issued a three-page order related to implementation on ICJ ruling related to the Jadhav's case.

According to the high court order, the implementation on the international court's ruling could only possible through India's assistance and New Delhi's help in the case would not affect its autonomy.

In the order the IHC noted India could inform its apprehensions to the court, if it had any, saying it is Pakistan's duty to implement judgment of the ICJ and ensure fair trial of the case. Therefore, India should be provided another chance for appointing lawyer for Jadhav.

In June the National Assembly passed a bill providing right of appeal to the Indian spy amid backlash by the opposition.

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